China's property developers have come under intense pressure since the government launched a crackdown in 2020

Hong Kong (AFP) - Debt-laden Chinese property developer Kaisa’s share price hit a record low on Friday as trading resumed following an 11-month trading halt, with the company saying it is in negotiations with creditors.

The country’s developers are still reeling from the effects of Beijing’s 2020 crackdown on excessive borrowing and rampant speculation in the property sector, with many facing restructuring following defaults.

Kaisa, which first defaulted on its offshore debt in 2021, was suspended from Hong Kong trading in April after failing to report financial results on time.

Releasing the long-delayed data on Thursday, the Shenzhen-based firm reported attributable losses of 7.7 billion yuan ($1.1 billion) in the first half of 2022 and 12.7 billion yuan for all of 2021.

Shares fell as much as 41 percent to a record low of HK$0.5 (about six US cents) on Friday morning, after the trading halt was lifted as a result of the data release.

Chairman Kwok Ying-shing said Kaisa would publish an update on restructuring negotiations “in due course”, but did not give a firm timeline.

“These discussions have been constructive… but do require time to formulate or implement due to ongoing changes in market conditions,” the company said.

Kaisa reported aggregate borrowings of more than 131 billion yuan ($18.8 billion) as of June 30, 2022.

In November, the Chinese government announced measures to promote “stable and healthy” development, including credit support for indebted developers and assistance for deferred-payment loans for homebuyers.

Property stocks plunged again this week, however, with mixed messages from Beijing policymakers and fading investor optimism, according to metrics compiled by Bloomberg Intelligence.

Evergrande, the country’s former top developer whose fall from grace epitomised the industry-wide crash, has pledged to repay its debt this year.

Major developers – including Evergrande – have failed to complete housing projects, triggering protests and mortgage boycotts from homebuyers last year.

Evergrande, which has racked up some $300 billion in liabilities, has rushed to offload assets and has been involved in restructuring talks.

A lawsuit against Evergrande in Hong Kong has been adjourned to March 20, with pressure on the group to firm up restructuring terms.